The ridiculously long iPhone line in Manhattan is even worse than you think

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Market share!
Image: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
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The line for an iPhone 6 at Apple’s flagship store in Midtown Manhattan did not disappoint this year. Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, estimates it was a third longer this year than last.

The scene you usually see in press photos—Apple employees getting people pumped up as sales begin—is an exciting collision of commerce and society. But the sheer length and duration of today’s line in New York offers a different perspective on the human condition. As Walter Piecyk, an analyst from BTIG, reported this morning: “Streets are a mess…including bags of feces.”

Piecyk walked the length of the line and posted this video on YouTube. It lasts six minutes and looks pretty depressing. Many people aren’t there to buy themselves a new gadget, but rather just to get paid—the iPhone 6 launch in China is delayed this year, so millions of phones are being smuggled back there. And most everyone looks checked out.